tv Global 3000 LINKTV August 23, 2014 10:00am-10:31am PDT
>> hello and welcome to "global 3000," your weekly check on global developments that affect us all. and today i'd like to start by asking you something -- what information do we really need to find our way around our ever more complex world? we meet a young geographer who has literally re-defined how we should be looking at our planet. and here's what we have coming up. looks odd but makes perfect sense -- the maps that tell the truth about our world. dangerous superstition -- we meet women in ghana who stand
accused of witchcraft. and rising sea levels -- how grenada is battling to save its freshwater resources. what is the distance between you and me? if you are watching in kampala for instance, the short answer would be 6079 kilometers between berlin and the ugandan capital. these are figures geographers like benjamin hennig will be able to give you off the top of their head. but he argues that the real distance between us is defined by very different factors, like health, education, water supply, child mortality -- the list goes on. and these, he argues, highlight much greater gaps than the geographical distance. take these into account and suddenly the shape of our world changes in front of our very eyes. >> the earth, as we know it. and the way we may be seeing it
in the future. these images tell stories. for example, where people have access to electricity. and where the population is growing fastest. or where people are hardest hit by extreme weather. this is the world as seen through the eyes of a german geographer at sheffield university. it's earned benjamin hennig a place on the list of northern england's brightest minds. >> the maps that i deal with basically serve the principle of orientation in a different sense -- these maps don't take us from a to b, but they give us an idea of how the future could look, how we're shaping our planet, the environment, the countryside, and where it's necessary to change things. >> cartography has preoccupied humankind for millennia. maps were essentially used as a tool for geographical orientation.
they helped traders, pilgrims, and travelers find their way. the era of exploration brought with it more precise maps that could also be used by seafarers. gerhard mercator developed the classic map of the world still familiar today. since then, maps of the earth's physical features have become more and more detailed, showing oceans, rivers, mountains, and valleys. >> my maps are based on the idea that other very complex spatial concepts, apart from the actual, physical space we live in, will play an increasingly important role in our world. >> the challenge is to process the exploding volume of data in today's world, information on how people live and how they're changing their environment. in this jungle of information, you have to be an expert to find your way around.
and that's what hennig wants to change with his maps. he divides the earth's surface into thousands of grid squares. they're fed with data, on the population for example. the square then grows or shrinks depending on the population. this method produces a view of the world that looks rather distorted when compared to a conventional map. sparsely populated countries like russia shrink, while densely populated regions like central europe look larger than normal. this technique forms the basis for many other maps. this one shows where child mortality is highest in the world. major economic centers, where the money flows, are often
located far away. and even familiar images can offer new information, like this view of the earth by night. hennig's map also shows densely populated areas. this view reveals that while india has good access to power, most people in africa still live off grid. >> many of the maps emerged by accident while i was working on my phd. i just found interesting patterns and thought to myself, let's try that out a bit. and then my curiosity led to me discovering other views which i tried and tested out. >> one of his maps looks at where and when it rains most in the world. most rain falls in the second half of the year in south america and southern africa.
but here, you can see where the most people get wet, in india and indonesia. this map shows which areas on earth see the fiercest storms -- the oceans. but where is humankind worst affected on land? the answer to that -- north america. perhaps hennig's atlas is most revealing in how humanity is changing. for example, where the population is growing fastest -- in india and africa. or where it's declining fastest -- surprisingly, it's the populous people's republic of china. thanks to the country's one-child policy.
>> these maps can prompt politicians, decision-makers, but also the general public to understand the world differently, to interpret our surroundings, and rethink our own behavior, our own lives, and our impact on the world. >> the world is a complex place, and it's becoming more complex by the day. maps like those by benjamin hennig can help to understand it. >> and where people run out of explanations for our world, that's often where superstition begins. to this day many icelanders, for instance, believe in elves. and while the 13th floor is occasionally missing in tall buildings because the number 13 is seen as unlucky in western culture, in china it's the number 4. but superstition isn't always that harmless. in ghana, the belief in witchcraft is still alive to this day. this can turn ordinary women into fugitives from their own family, just because someone has uttered a suspicion.
we visit a village where those who managed to flee have found refuge. >> these women have survived attempted murder at the hands of some of their closest relatives. they've been beaten, tortured. but in tindang, they feel safe. they're women who've been ostracized as witches. carrying their stools, they're here for a village assembly. these 120 women all have one thing in common -- other people believe they are possessed by evil spirits. papekye blenye was blamed when one of her neighbors fell ill. pakpema belnye was blamed when one of her neighbors fell ill. >> my neighbor got a sore on his arm. no one could explain it. but his wife claimed that i had bewitched him. they wanted to lynch me. all i could do was run away. >> an inexplicable illness or a failed harvest can be enough to prompt accusations of witchcraft. some of these women used to be successful business women, and
envy sparked resentment. others were branded witches so their relatives could claim an inheritance. tibisi linsak's problem's began when her husband died. >> after the funeral, my sister-in-law ran around the village telling everyone she'd dreamed that i was to blame for my husband's death. i couldn't stay. i had to go and leave everything there, my yard, my fields and even my children. >> the women live in a ghetto in tindang. at the assembly, they elect two representatives to lobby for help from the provincial government. pakpema is one of them. she has lived in the witch camp for 28 years and is one of the elders here. tibisi linsak only arrived four years ago. despite the persecution and abuse, neither woman is prepared to remain silent.
in contrast to almost all the other women here, they have a small income. a neighbor turns the wood they're chopping into charcoal, which they sell on the streets. tindang's inhabitants are almost entirely women. most are over 70. if they didn't get occasional food supplies from the church and from aid organizations, they would starve. they all have scars, but most are invisible. some have dementia and are confused. but all of them have been traumatized by persecution and a centuries old ritual. to determine whether a woman is a witch, a fetish priest cuts the throat of a chicken and then throws it onto the ground. if the bird dies on its stomach, then the woman is guilty.
if the hen ends up on its back, it was a false alarm. in tindang, the fetish priest is also the village chief. it was his father who founded the refuge for alleged witches almost 50 years ago. >> the spirits decide whether someone is a witch or not. the chicken shows us what they decide. if there's a guilty verdict, we give the woman a concoction of chicken blood, water, and sacred earth. then the power of the witch is banished. if she's not guilty, she can go where she wants. >> whether they're found to be witches or not, most women stay in tindang. once the suspicion has been voiced, the stigma is like a stain. the persecution of witches isn't peculiar to africa. during the middle ages the catholic church was a driving force in rounding up suspected
witches. priest jabaab from the neighboring village knows that his parishioners are prone to believing in witchcraft. >> there's no scientific explanation to things so we have to use other explanations. man needs reason why things happen. in europe, scientific explanation is widespread. but here, that is not here. the belief in witchcraft is embedded in the african traditional religion, in the mentality. it is so muhc ingrained that it is difficult to disassociate any of them. >> pakpema and tibisi set off for the provincial capital. as representatives of the witch camp, they want to ask for support from the authorities and get help from the police. ghana's government have wanted to shut down the witch villages
for a long time. they regard them as an embarrassment in a democratic and economically thriving country. but no one would take the women in. nevertheless the police recently set up a special task unit charged with protecting women from domestic violence and abuse. now anyone accusing someone of witchcraft could end up in court themselves. >> if anybody reports a case of a threat on his or her life through witchcraft accusations, the accuser will be taken on for threat of harm, threat of death, assault, unlawful causing of damage to property of somebody. >> for the two women from the witch camp, the hustle and bustle of the city is unusual. they only come here once a year at most. why else would they come? they can hardly afford to go shopping. but at least the provincial government has listened and made some promises.
>> they want to get us better huts, build us a new well, and get us on the state health insurance system. but most importantly they promised us food, because most of us in the village don't have enough to eat. >> but in tindang, it's not the first time they've heard promises. so far nothing has changed. it is and remains a hospice for old and impoverished women. almost every attempt to relocate them to their home villages fails. their accusers don't want them back. and the women are wary of going through it all again. here at least they're left in peace. here, they can talk about their experiences. and that helps them in a small way to live with the trauma of being outcast. >> what does globalization mean to you? that's the question we keep asking you. so, please go ahead and fill out
our global questionnaire which you can find on our website and soon your answers could be right here on the program. and this week we hear from one of our viewers in thailand. i live in -- i'm 43. i'm a hair designer for women and for men. life is much better now than before. in thailand, a lot of things
used to be way behind compared to elsewhere, and my standard of living wasn't good. now, there are shopping centers and fast food restaurants and things like that. it's a lot better than it used to be. my job makes me happy. this region has a lot of industry, so there are a lot of clients. i can earn more here than in other provinces. i like noodles and the other foods they sell on street stands.
unfortunately, my job doesn't often leave we -- me with much time to cook for myself. america. i'd like to go there and travel on a river one day. a girlfriend told me how beautiful america is, especially alaska. i'd like to expand my business in the future and sell more beauty accessories for women, and health products, too. i hope my business will do even better than. -- then. >> good luck with that. and now we head to the
caribbean. the island nation of grenada easily keeps all the promises of its tourist brochures -- sheer endless beaches, crystal clear water, and pleasant temperatures all year round. what more can one ask for? but behind the scenes the authorities are battling the elements to make sure its key industry doesn't get to feel the effects of climate change. rising sea levels are threatening fresh water resources. so, don't be fooled by the natural beauty you are about to see. >> five meters down on the sea bed around grenada, 26 life size -- 25 life-sized figures. the sculptures are not only a highlight of their holiday here for tourists. they're also a reminder by british artist jason de cairestaylor about the impact of climate change.
and that's why gerlinde seupel brings her visitors here. she's lived on grenada for 15 years. she aims to bring home to her guests how the many hurricanes have devastated the coral reef over the past few decades. >> in mouliniere bay here where the sculptures are, the reef was once very beautiful. when we first came here, it had canyons and so on, just fantastic. that was destroyed in 2001. the reef practically no longer exists, so that's why we created an artificial one. >> the caribbean island of grenada lives off the tourists who come to enjoy its beaches and the sea. but the sea is becoming a problem. rising sea levels are eating away at the coastline here. aria st. louis works for the agricultural ministry. dieter rothenberger works for
the german agency for international cooperation. the erosion of the land is just one of the challenges they're facing. on the east of the island, they meet with fishermen. they tell them that once there was a white, sandy beach here. they're using primitive means to try and stop the water. >> more and more waves are coming and they take it all with them. it won't last very long. in a year or two, the water will come here. there's no solution. >> the people don't want to move, so they have to live with the consequences of climate change. >> i wanted to make sure that he understood the we is him and me. because he is the one who is actually living here, has the idea of what it was before that he is looking for, and he is currently being impacted. >> it's the rainy season, but
for this time of year, there's far too little rain. a disaster for the farmers. edmond aquat has to water his fruit plantations twice a week. he's taken out a $10,000 loan to pay for pumps and irrigation systems. and now this. >> i wet my cantaloupe, my watermelons and i saw, hey, i am giving them water, but they are bowing. so, i say something is wrong. so, when i opened the sprinkler, one of the sprinkler was blocked. so, i open it. and when i put my mouth to pull off the clip, i realized, when i run my tongue on my lip, the water was salt. >> his irrigation pool is fed by groundwater. but that's getting salty because sea water is seeping up through the ground. dieter rothenberger and aria st. louis fear that it could soon affect public wells. they've brought a water expert to the island. he's inspecting this 70 meter deep well. it supplies around a thousand
people with drinking water. the well is still intact, and, luckily, the water's not salty. just as well, for there's hardly any alternative here. >> the island is very mountainous so people have to invest in expensive pumps and infrastructure for fresh water. that's why we have to ensure the wells are kept functioning. >> they also seek out the island's fresh water reserves. the german's team check the water volume and create maps for locals showing them where the water sources are. this is all in preparation for more hurricanes. the last major one in 2004 destroyed 90% of infrastructure here. including water pipes. >> that's why its important for
people to know where they can find such small decentralized sources of water that they can use, to survive, to drink, to wash, and to cook with. >> on the neighboring island, the climate is even drier. there's not even any groundwater. people here have to rely on rainwater. and collecting water is impossible, if it doesn't rain. >> welcome. >> at this hotel they've built a subterranean cistern. it's a huge investment for such a small enterprise. >> here we store the water. it's very, very fresh and pure and clean.
you could have a try. >> but sometimes even that's not enough and they have to buy in water from outside. and, if that's in short supply, they just hope their guests will be understanding. such scenarios can't be allowed to happen in five-star resorts like this. anyone paying $1,000 a night isn't expected to put up with shortages of any kind. and so the owner has installed low-flow shower heads from germany. they use 1/3 less water. but during very dry periods, there can be shortages. so, then they produce fresh water with their on-site desalinization plant. but that consumes huge amounts of energy, making water production a costly matter. >> trucking it in is a very time consuming and laborious operation, so it is actually much easier to run the desalination plant when we need it.
>> gerlinde seupel wants her guests to always find a little paradise here. with enough water. >> in germany, water is taken for granted. doesn't she ever think of going back? >> no, definitely not. you asked me how we're solving the problem. we will solve it. it's much easier here on a small island like grenada than in germany. >> it seems one thing people living in the caribbean have in plentiful supply is optimism. and at least the first steps have been taken. >> and if you want to find out more about grenada's water struggle, please visit us online. there you can also find more reports from our climate series. and that was "global 3000" this week. thanks for watching and don't forget to tune in again, same time, same place. bye-bye. captioned by the national captioning institute